Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Killora & Killogilleen graveyards in Craughwell, Co. Galway

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The weekend before last I travelled to Craughwell, Co. Galway, to see the newest additions to our family - my lovely new nephews Ben & Bobby.

While I was there I had planned to take an hour or so and go visit the historic graveyards of Killora and Killogilleen. I was employed by the Parish Council in the mid-90s to produce detailed books of gravestones for both sites, and I maintain an interest in the sites. My intention was to take some photographs for use in a lecture I have been (provisionally) asked to prepare on the sites. Once I got there I realised that the light wasn't great for photography and that, in all probability, I had more than enough decent photos, taken on sunnier days.

I've also been looking at the work done by Historic Graves, especially the simple, but effective, videos they've been posting on their YouTube Channel and decided to rip off their ideas engage in the sincerest form of flattery! With this in mind, I shot a few minutes of video at each of the graveyards ... nothing special, just a couple of panning shots and a few detailed shots. I'm hardly Scorsese!

The one thing that kept coming to mind for me was how much the sites had changed - I worked in Killora in 1995 and in Killogilleen in 1996 - they are the inevitable changes of the grass growing, the ivy making a surging comeback, attempting to swallow the building whole ... even the dappled lichens colonising the eyes of stone angels. Some new gravestones have been added, and some of the old ones have disappeared. At Killora one of these stones has been broken up and stacked on  the east window of the church. To me this illustrates the fault line between the historical value that we as archaeologists, historians, and genealogists place on these sites and the ownership of individual stones within a living burial site.

I have tried to illustrate the changes in the graveyards by incorporating my old photos of the sites into the videos. In some places I think it works rather well ... and slightly less so in others ... take a look and tell me what you think! You can find Killora here and Killogilleen there!

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